A campsite on Kheerganga Trek (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Kheerganga is located in the lap of gorgeous Parvati Valley located in the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh. The Kheerganga peak is situated at a height of around 3000 meters above sea level.
According to ancient Hindu mythology, Kartikeya who was the son of Lord Shiva meditated at Kheerganga. The mother of Kartikeya and wife of Shiva visited Kartikeya and cooked him rice pudding (Kheer) in the hot springs. The milky waters of the hot springs are believed to be from the rice pudding that was cooked for Kartikeya. Hence, the name Kheerganga.
Kheerganga trek in the beautiful Parvati valley is the best trekking experience you can have in the Himalayas. You will see some of the best scenic beauty on your way to Kheerganga. Parvati valley is one of the most beautiful destinations in Himachal Pradesh. Visiting this region of Himachal would be the best experience you can have as a trekker.
Kheerganga trek is also a great experience to learn about the lifestyle of the local people. Kheerganga trek is a great trekking experience for beginners who want to experience the Himalayan beauty. It is one of the most famous treks in Himachal Pradesh. Every year, hundreds of tourists undertake this rewarding trek to Kheerganga.
However, there is not quite enough information available that will help the first-time trekker to Kheerganga. Mostly the information available online might not be complete and not provide you enough information that is required before your trek. All the popular Himachal travel packages have added Kheerganga Trek as an essential adventure activity in their list of trekking destinations.
Suggested Read: Famous Historical Monuments in Himachal Pradesh
How To Prepare For Kheerganga Trek
A view from Kheerganga Trek (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
1. Plan your route
Your journey to the Kheerganga trek starts from Kasol. Kasol is a beautiful town which is known as ‘mini Israel of India’. The Kasol region is blessed with gorgeous scenes of natural beauty. Kasol is particularly a famous destination among foreign tourists.
If you are traveling from Delhi then you can take a bus or a cab from Delhi. Also, all other major cities are well-connected by road to Kasol. You can reach Kasol by road by taking a bus or a cab from Delhi. The closest airport to Kasol is the Bhuntar airport from where you can easily find a taxi for Kasol.
Suggested Read: Things to do in Kufri
Trekking routes to Kheerganga:
The starting point for the trek to Kheerganga is Barshaini village. Following are the 3 trekking routes to Kheerganga from Barshaini.
- The first route is after taking a left turn from the bridge after Barshaini village. This is the shortest trekking route that can take you around 4 hours of normal trekking speed.
- Taking the right turn after the bridge will take you to the Kalga village. This route is quite lesser known to the tourists. You can get lost on this route. So only experienced trekkers should take this route or you can go with a guide who can help you.
- Route to Kheerganga from Tosh village which connects to the first route near the village of Nathan. People who wish to visit the beautiful village of Tosh can take this route. It is an equally popular route for tourists.
2. Pack accordingly
One most important thing for you is to prepare well before starting your trek. This means that you have to consider wearing a good pair of trekking shoes. The trekking trail of Kheerganga would require you to be comfortable. If your feet are hurting while walking, then there is no way you would be able to enjoy the scenic beauty of Kheerganga.
If you are planning for a Kheerganga trek during your trip to Himachal in December, then the landscape of Parvati valley would be different for you. The snow-covered mountains will look different in contrast to the summer scene. Make sure you have enough warm clothes to protect you during the nighttime chill.
So, make sure you are wearing comfortable trekking shoes. Also, make sure to pack a jacket or something warm. The weather on your trekking trail is quite volatile and it can change anytime. Even if you are trekking during the summer months, make sure to carry a light jacket at least. In winters, however, you need to get enough warm clothes and something to protect you from light rains.
3. Consider the best time to trek
The best time to visit Kheerganga and to trek is between April till June and mid-September till November. Please note that trekking during the monsoon months is very dangerous due to the slippery terrain and the risk of landslides and flash floods. Almost all treks in Himachal should be avoided during the monsoon months.
Also, it would be wise to check the weather conditions in advance before you prepare for your journey. This year, there have been many landslides and flash floods across Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Make sure you get the latest information about the road and weather conditions.
Suggested Read: Plan A Trip To Manali
4. Cellphone connectivity
Before you start your trek, make sure to inform your loved ones and your friends about your journey. The cellphone connectivity is almost nil in the Parvati valley. There are no cell phone towers nearby, even if you get a signal, it would be quite low.
You might find some connectivity in some villages on your way. However, you should not have any hopes of getting a good signal.
5. Carry Cash
After Kasol, you will not find any ATMs to get cash. So make sure you carry enough to pay for your food on your way. The local ‘Dhabhas’ and eateries will only accept cash. So, it is wise to prepare yourself by carrying enough for your food and other services.
6. Start your trek early
The Kheerganga trek is around 15 kilometers long and can take around 6 hours to complete. You will be facing a lot of sun on your face and might find it too hot as you climb up during the day. It is better if you wake up early in the morning and start your trek early. This will make your journey a pleasant and comfortable one.
Although the temperatures are not that high but considering the constant sun on your face, you might start to feel hot. Starting early will help you stay comfortable enough to enjoy the scenic beauty of the place.
Suggested Read: Honeymoon Destinations in North India
7. Book your stay
If you are someone who is a first-time trekker to Kheerganga, then you can take it easy and take your own time while trekking. You can make several stops on your way and stay at many homestays available in the area.
Tosh and Barshaini are some of the best play to stay while trekking to Kheerganga. You can easily pre-book your stay through Airbnb and other online portals. This will increase the time of your journey, but it is all worthwhile as you can enjoy the splendor of the gorgeous landscape of Parvati valley.
8. Plan your expenses
A general budget for a 3-day trip could cost you around 6000 rupees per person. This includes the transportation cost, accommodation, and food expenses. The cost can vary depending on your stay and the food you eat.
If you are traveling from Delhi the Volvo bus ticket might cost you around 2000 rupees. Please note that the cost of food might get higher as you climb higher. Because carrying the food items on the height is what makes the cost of food expensive.
Suggested Read: Must Visit Places in Shimla
Best Tourist Attractions And Activities On Kheerganga Trek
1. Nakthan Village
Nakthan village is a stop on your way to Kheerganga. All trekkers pass this village and some choose to stay here to rest. Nakthan village is a beautiful place where you can rejuvenate your spirit. You can enjoy some snacks and enjoy the company of the friendly locals.
The traditional Himachali house structures are unique and are a very old way of constructing houses which are still being practiced by the villagers. Nakthan village is a great stop which is exactly the middle of your trekking journey. You can enjoy some beautiful views and let it set it as you rest. Capturing some of the beauty in your camera will make you cherish your journey once you finish it.
2. Taking a dip in the hot springs
Hot springs are one of the best features of Kheerganga and the entire region of Kasol. If you are going to Kheerganga, then make sure to take a hot bath in one of the many hot springs available in the area. One of the most popular hot springs is the Parvati Kund located in the Parvati valley.
Make sure you do not miss this experience of taking a dip in the hot springs. Hot springs are particularly exciting if you are on your trip to Himachal in December. Relaxing in the hot waters, with biting cold winds outside your zone, is something to experience that cannot be expressed in words.
It is quite an experience to camp in the lap of the beautiful nature around the Kheerganga trek. Camping here is something that should not be missed. It is one of the best feelings you can have as far as connecting with nature is concerned.
If you are traveling on your Himachal tour package, make sure to customize your tour package to include camping in the list of your experiences.
4. Kalga Village
Kalga village is one of the most ‘Insta-worthy’ destinations. Tourists visiting this tranquil and beautiful village have made this village much popular in recent years. There have been many social media posts where you can see some of the most beautiful natural scenes that Kalga is blessed with.
Kalga is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh. There are some good cafés where you can spend some quality time with yourself or your loved ones. The locals are very friendly and the atmosphere is very serene.
Suggested Read: Things to do in Manali
Things to remember
• Check new regulations
Recently, there have been many changes to the rules and regulations for traveling to Himachal Pradesh. Make sure you check online for the latest information regarding the travel restrictions for Himachal Pradesh. If you are traveling through any of the Himachal travel packages, make sure to ask your operator about the requirements for travel.
Also, camping and trekking have been banned due to the overcrowding of tourists. And there might be special permits that might be required for some tourist activities. This will most likely change. Make sure you check for the latest information.
• Start your trek early
If you want to avoid the sun’s heat and the rainfall that happens during noon, then it is wise to start your trek early in the morning. Starting around 6 in the morning is probably the best idea to avoid any hassles on your trek.
Starting early will help you stay comfortable and you can make many stops on your journey. Your Himachal trip to Kheerganga will be great if you avoid any stress on your journey. So, it's better to keep the time factor into consideration before planning your trek.
Also, do not try to come back from the Kheerganga trek on the same day. As it gets very tiring and trekking during the night might be dangerous.
• Carry essential gear
It is important to pack essentials for your journey. The things you need are backpacks, proper shoes, a torchlight, a poncho or umbrella, snacks, non-plastic water bottles, and cash.
• Be environment-friendly
Kheerganga and many such places are considered the best tourist places in Himachal Pradesh because of their natural beauty. However, with excessive tourism and overcrowding, the fragile environment gets damaged. Many tourists litter in the mountains with waste plastic bottles and other toiletries.
It has been observed that many tourists leave empty alcohol bottles and other waste garbage at the camping sites. This has angered the locals and many signs have been installed to inform the tourists. So, it is good that you carry back your garbage once you travel back. And make sure not to throw empty plastic water bottles out in the open.
Suggested Read: Solo Trip To Himachal Pradesh
This was a small guide to help you plan your Himachal tour to Kheerganga in a responsible way. Keeping the key points mentioned in this guide will help you save a lot of time and make your journey a memorable one. Also, traveling responsibly by respecting locals and not damaging the environment will help tourism thrive.
There are many destinations in Himachal Pradesh that are worth mentioning. But, Kheerganga and the region of Kasol have a raw beauty that is blessed with nature’s best scenes. This region is probably one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh. Trekking to Kheerganga is very much possible, even if you are a first-time trekker. It is a relatively easy trek and should be experienced at least once in your lifetime.